ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Vice President" Category

The Plot Thickens

[ Posted Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 – 16:35 UTC ]

This is all what should have happened last August. Also, at this point it's hard not to think: "Who's next? Jimmy Carter? Dan Quayle?" In fact, it's hard for me not to picture in my head right now the image of Attorney General Merrick Garland standing on a stage behind Oprah Winfrey, who is yelling into her microphone: "You get a special counsel... and you get a special counsel!... and YOU get a special counsel!!!"

This was my initial (and admittedly, rather giddy) reaction when the news broke that Mike Pence also had some classified documents in his possession, long after he should have turned them over to the National Archives. This complicates an already-complicated storyline, since Pence is now the third ex-president or ex-vice-president to have seemingly walked off with classified documents stuffed in a box with all the other papers they took with them when leaving office. And then nobody ever looked in the boxes until now -- at least in the cases of former Vice President Mike Pence and current President (but former Vice President and Senator, from when the documents were reportedly dated) Joe Biden. In the case of former President Donald Trump, the boxes at least should have been looked into, since he had already received and answered a subpoena for all documents marked classified.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Biden's First Two Years

[ Posted Friday, January 20th, 2023 – 18:27 UTC ]

Two years ago today, Joseph Robinette Biden Junior was sworn in as the nation's 46th president. So how is he doing at his job? His approval rating in public opinion polls has generally improved since the midterm elections, hitting numbers he hasn't seen in a year. But those numbers are still south of 45 percent (on average), which is fairly common for a first-term president but certainly nothing to brag about.

Biden has had some notable successes as president, and some notable rocky patches as well. He entered office as the COVID-19 vaccines were becoming widely and freely available, and things seemed rosy on this front for his first year, only to get a lot grimmer as the Omicron strain hit much harder than any of the previous variants of the virus. All of a sudden we weren't done with COVID-19 and life didn't return to normal as expected. But since then, the virus has become almost an afterthought and didn't matter much to voters in the midterms (even though it had been predicted that it would be a major issue).

Biden's legislative accomplishments are more impressive than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. True, Biden did have a Democratic Senate and House to work with, but both of those had historically-slender majorities -- L.B.J., for instance, had as many as 68 Democratic senators to work with. Biden only had 50 -- including two who loved the media spotlight so much they didn't care if they torpedoed Biden's agenda in major ways. Biden also managed to pass some major bills with bipartisan support, which is almost miraculous, these days.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Joe's Garage

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2023 – 17:43 UTC ]

With apologies to Frank Zappa, this week's big political story might be summed up as coming from "Joe's garage." But we'll get to all of that in a moment, down in the awards section (it shouldn't be any mystery which one he's going to get). First, though, let's take a look at the other momentous things that happened during the past week.

This column, of course, measures weeks from Friday afternoon to Friday afternoon. As we were writing last week, the House of Representatives was still deadlocked over who would become the next speaker. This continued far into the night, until Kevin McCarthy finally emerged victorious. Weakened, bloodied, diminished... but finally victorious.

Read Complete Article »

The Big Difference

[ Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2023 – 16:55 UTC ]

Attorney General Merrick Garland has now announced the appointment of a special counsel to look into President Joe Biden's apparent mishandling of classified documents. This bombshell hit the political world earlier today and everyone has been furiously reacting ever since. Personally, when we first heard the news (earlier in the week) that an organization that Biden created (after he left office as Barack Obama's vice president) had turned over classified documents to the National Archives, we took a "wait and see" approach to writing about it. Now that the other shoe has dropped in a dramatic way, though, it's time for some reactions.

Read Complete Article »

My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2022 – 19:51 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second of our year-end awards columns! And if you missed it last Friday, go check out [Part 1] as well.

As always, this is long. Horrendously long. Insanely long. It takes a lot of stamina to read all the way to the end. You have been duly warned! But because it is so long, we certainly don't want to add any more here at the start, so let's just dive in, shall we?

Read Complete Article »

My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 16th, 2022 – 18:45 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

As always, we must begin with a stern warning: this is an incredibly long article. So long you likely won't make it to the end, at least not in one sitting. It is, as it always is, a marathon not a sprint.

Read Complete Article »

Biden Signs Respect For Marriage Act

[ Posted Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 – 16:03 UTC ]

President Joe Biden signed the Respect For Marriage Act at the White House today, which closes an ugly chapter in American federal law that began with the Defense Of Marriage Act (which was signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton). But while it may close that chapter, it should not be seen as the end of the story. Because Americans still don't have a federal right to marry the person they love no matter what. At least, not one written into law.

Read Complete Article »

Lying Down With Dogs

[ Posted Thursday, December 1st, 2022 – 16:27 UTC ]

It's a saying that may stretch back to Roman times. In English, the first citation (at least from Wikipedia, I haven't checked the O.E.D. yet, sorry...) dates from 1612: "For they that sleep with dogs, shall rise with fleas." In this particular case, Donald Trump breaking bread with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes has left much of the rest of the Republican Party feeling awfully flea-ridden. And the whole thing just got a lot worse.

Read Complete Article »

Hoping This Duck Won't Turn Into A Turkey

[ Posted Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022 – 15:40 UTC ]

That is a rather convoluted headline, but I had to work the word "turkey" in there somehow, so I apologize. But the thought is real -- the lame-duck session of Congress has a lot to get done in a very short period of time, and if it doesn't succeed on multiple fronts it will set the stage for future chaos. The time to act is now, because the consequences of not acting would be severe.

There are two critical things the lame-duck Congress must achieve, as well as a number of other issues it would be nice to see some progress on. The Senate actually started with one of these, by advancing the Respect For Marriage Act past a filibuster attempt with an impressive 62-37 vote. They still have to hold a final vote on it, and then send it over to the House but it is looking like this will be the first thing accomplished in the lame-duck session. It should rightly be seen as a rebuke of the Supreme Court's radical overreach, so it is important.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Slumps

[ Posted Friday, November 18th, 2022 – 17:26 UTC ]

It was another rather momentous week in politics, as the Republicans chalked up enough midterm wins to retake control of the House of Representatives but fell short in the Senate, where Democrats picked up one seat (which is enough to assure them control) with one race still waiting for a runoff election in early December. The GOP will have a razor-thin House majority, which is quite likely to produce nothing but chaos for the next two years. After the results were known, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she (and her whole team) would step away from leadership roles and allow a generational shift to happen in the Democratic House caucus. And Donald Trump formally announced his third bid for the presidency, which didn't exactly go over as well as he might have hoped. Plus there will be the first White House wedding in years, and Joe Biden will become the first octogenarian to occupy the Oval Office when he turns 80 years old on Sunday. All in all, a big week.

Read Complete Article »